Monthly Archives: February 2014

Politics of Chigololo: President Sata, HH and the slurring of fatherless children

 By E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Instead of being a father to the fatherless, President Sata has become a scoffer of the fatherless. Instead of being a father of the nation, President Sata has chosen to ridicule those among citizens who have lived without knowing their fathers. Quite extraordinarily, it takes a lot of steel for a man to condemn others for the same thing he does. Pointing a finger at others, when four are pointing back at you should be enough to warn you of your own decadence. It is bizarre to disparage Hakainde Hichilema as a child “born out of fornication” when you yourself have a chain of children born out wedlock. When President Sata first chanted the famous bana ba mufigololo stanza, in July 2013, to refer to both Father Frank Bwalya and Hakainde Hichilema, I gave him a benefit of doubt. He is only human and may be he just had a slip of a tongue. I rationalized that may be he had such an intense campaign for Lameck Mangani that he, in the heat of the moment, thoughtlessly brought in the cigololo analogy. In English, it does sound lighter. But used in CiNyanja these words are graver and even more uncouth.

Fatherhood is a privilege, but President Sata should not be slurring fatherless children.

Fatherhood is a privilege, but President Sata should not be slurring fatherless children. (Munshya with son Mwitumwa)

As if it was not enough that he had used these uncouth words in Chipata last year. President Sata has repeated the same slur. Campaigning in Katuba Constituency, last week (in February 2014) he used the same disparaging remarks referring to HH as a man “who cannot name his father.” President Sata, who is 76, went on to name his own father and challenged HH to do the same. By implication, President Sata does seem to be suggesting that HH is unworthy of the presidency because he was allegedly born out of wedlock. It is clear that President Sata does seem to have some issues he needs to settle in his own mind concerning “abana ba mufigololo”.

Mucigololo

President Sata’s “cigololo” insults are unacceptable – Munshya wa Munshya

Our constitution does attribute a lot of dignity to the person occupying the office of president. This is the reason why such an individual gets immunity from both civil and criminal suits while they serve. In fact, the Supreme Court has made it clear, that the Presidency is a high office that must be “honoured and respected”. According to Chief Justice Matthew Ngulube, in the case of Mmembe and others v. the People (1996), the presidency, as an institution, does deserve protection from, among other things, libel and defamation. For Ngulube the constitution makes the president to be “not equal” to everyone else. In reprimanding Spectator Kalaki’s Mfuwe article, the Supreme Court in Roy Clarke v. Attorney General, held that characterizing Mwanawasa and his cabinet as animals was in bad taste and was inconsistent with Zambian values. According to Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, “a Zambian President deserves respect”. Most recently, in the case of Mutuna & Others v. Attorney General (2013), Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda’s majority opinion did seem to have evoked both Justice Ngulube and Justice Sakala by claiming that the presidency is such a high office that is “authority on everything.” Indeed, our laws do seem to impute a lot of dignity, decorum and deference to the president. But the law has not quite addressed the question of how we citizens should handle a president who uses immunity as a cover to insult and disparage others.

Supreme Court precedence does seem to have worked presidential dignity backwards. It imputes respect and reasonableness on a president and then from there assumes that the president will act in fairness, reverence and dignity towards others (See Mutuna & Others). But what are we to do when citizens get the brunt of insults from a sitting Head of State? This is the question and the dilemma we face as a people today.

President Sata’s words should be taken for what they are: plain insults. It is not respectful for a person in authority to characterize some citizens as “abana ba mufigololo.” We might at this moment borrow some wisdom from President Frederick Chiluba who famously declared: imfumu taituka bantu, abantu ebatuka imfumu. Loosely translated, a good leader does not use his or her position of authority as a cover to slur subordinates. However, ever since the don’t kubeba government took office the reverse has happened: imfumu iletuka abantu! The PF government is a specialist in reverse gears. The latest casualty of their reverse gear is the falling Kwacha. But I will leave that for another day.

Presidential immunity should not be used as a way to insult, but rather as a way for a president to have the leverage and freedom to consult with others in national development. President Sata should look at others that went before him. Kenneth Kaunda was a “wamuyaya”, but where is he today? It was a custom of his to refer to citizens and some opponents as “stupid idiots”. But when the time came, he was kicked out of office. Then came Frederick Chiluba. Even if he never insulted his opponents, after leaving power in 2002, the Zambian parliament stripped him of his immunity. Mere suspicions of theft were enough to strip Chiluba of his bombasa. Rupiah Banda also has had his bombasa stripped. This should serve as a lesson to President Sata also. He should use the privilege of immunity to serve and not to abuse others. Immunity is quite an unreliable shield.

President Sata as Head of State is supposed to be inspiring confidence in a number of children born out of wedlock every day. It is not his job to disparage mothers giving birth to fatherless children. Indeed, this president is supposed to be president for all Zambians including those born out of wedlock. His continued ridiculing of HH only goes to perpetuate stigma against children in Zambia who have lived without knowing their father. In fact, daily in our primary schools, children without fathers are being subjected to bullying. They are being mocked for something that is not their fault. And yet, instead of receiving support from the leadership of our country, they receive innuendo that casts doubt on their personal value. What are these children supposed to do?

Hakainde Hichilema may have survived a fatherless childhood. He has made good out of himself. He is one of the richest guys in the whole country. He has been to school and his degrees are an envy of many. He is leader of one of the biggest political parties. He is a father himself, or perhaps, a grandfather. It is all these reasons that make President Sata’s remarks even more absurd.

As Zambians, we all know that many times, it is not biological parents who raise children. It takes a village to raise a child. For a man like HH to be where he is today, he received lots of support and nurture from many people in his community. It is these people – men and women – who were HH’s fathers and mothers. And just look at the finesse of a gentleman that he is. There is absolutely no reason why HH should be at the receiving brunt of these insults. If the constitution will not protect the fatherless innocents from a hasty president, we might as well rely on customary wisdom: Ubufumu bucindika umwine.

In The Name of God: Should The Zambian Government Ban Immoral Clergy?

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Registrar of Societies Kakoma Kanganja has proscribed a Lusaka pastor from ministry. This pastor, as widely reported in the media, was accused of among other things, practicing Satanism, sexual misconduct and several doctrinal hullabaloos. Kanganja appears to be more deliberative in his decision making process. In this article, I wish to explore at least two points. I will highlight the rise of the prophetism phenomenon. After this, I will then explore the role, if any, that government can play in controlling some controversial practices.

There are so many people claiming to be prophets that it is difficult to tell one from the other. Some are performing bizarre practices. For the prophet in question, his practices allegedly involved asking members to shave all the hair on their bodies and taking pilgrimage into the bush. Others have alleged sexual misconduct on the part of the prophet.

The prophetism phenomenon calls for serious discernment. It is the duty of all citizens to be able to question and reassess what these prophets are teaching. It should not be difficult for anyone to figure out that any prophet who demands huge sums of cash, as a prerequisite for a miracle, should be doubted. Additionally, it should be clear that any prophet who asks for sex as a way to exorcise spirits is most probably a charlatan. There is no wonder working power in any pastor’s penis. In so saying, I am not in any way suggesting that any form of sexual indiscretion by clergy is a sign that they are false prophets. Indeed, it would be ridiculous for me to claim that. What I am suggesting is that any one who uses religion, as a way to habitually manipulate followers into immoral behaviour is most probably a false prophet. And the people of Zambia should be the best judge of such behaviors.

“Nine Pastor Changwe njiswila ko” – PK Chishala

If we are to learn from PK Chishala’s hit song Pastor Changwe, we see that some controversial pastors can use scripture to justify transgressions. In PK’s song, Pastor Changwe even goes to misquote the Bible as a way to justify his desire to sleep with his deacon’s wife. “Ati wakana ine ninshi wakana Paulo”. Pastor Changwe went on to claim, “Yesu alikwete Maria Magdalena, Paulo nao ali na Phoebe, Petelo alikwete Dorcas”. Clearly, this is twist of scripture. Having supposed that, PK Chishala is not in any way suggesting that Pastor Changwe is committing a crime or an offence. We must create a distinction between conduct that is morally reprehensible and that which is illegal. We should not impute illegality on conduct that might be immoral but not necessarily illegal. I will come back to this later.

Should government ban randy pastors?

Should government ban randy pastors?

Having regard to the reality of deceitful prophets among us, the next question should be, how could we control them? Some members of the said pastor’s church went to the Registrar of Societies and after investigations and to his credit Kanganja decided to ban this pastor. I am alive to the fact that Kanganja did his due diligence. However, even if he had done his due diligence, the decision to ban this pastor does seem to have been an overreach of his powers. It would be a terrible Zambia where we allow a government officer to chose for us who should and who should not be worthy to lead a religious organization. The government should have no role in determining for its citizen the ritual, moral or spiritual fitness of its religious leaders. Even if that pastor were alleged to have been involved in all those activities, the Registrar of Societies does not have the powers and neither should he have the powers to proscribe any citizen from leading a religious organization. Just as government has no powers to determine ritual fitness of Sosala to be Chitimukulu so doesn’t government have powers to determine the ritual fitness of any pastor.

The problem with allowing Kanganja’s conduct to continue is the chilling effect it will have on religious liberty. Today, he might be justified in stopping this rowdy pastor, but tomorrow who knows what Kanganja might be up to? It should be left to the members of a religious organization to determine how they will handle the affairs of their churches. Indeed, a government officer should be blind to internal squabbles that border on religious doctrine. If we allowed government to interfere then there is nothing that would stop Kanganja from entering any independent church and “discipline” randy pastors. In fact, Kanganja’s predecessor, wanted to overzealously ban the bus station pastors. This guy seemed to have had no clue that having the power to register societies in Zambia did not necessarily give him the duty to regulate religious expression, regardless of how annoying it gets.

I take notice of the seriousness of the allegations leveled against the banned Lusaka pastor. But even if these practices are morally questionable and in fact could be unbiblical, they are not in themselves illegal. If a group of citizens decide to shave their hair as a way of their religious ritual, it should be within their right to do so. If a pastor commits sexual immorality, it is immoral obviously but that should not, by itself, make government to disqualify such a pastor. Again, it is not government’s job to do so.

The sexual immorality thing does seem to be quite a petulant subject at the moment. If a religious leader rapes women, then he must be arrested and the law should take its course. If there is no rape, and the leader has consensual sex with consenting adults, while such conduct falls below expected moral standards, it should not by itself lead to government interference in religious matters. If indeed, we allowed government to do so, then even the Mother Church herself would have long closed its doors. Contrary to some perceptions, the problems of sexual immorality are not unique to one social institution or one church. They are prevalent in mainline churches as well as newer religious movements. If Kanganja has to defrock immoral clergy, we might have to suggest that he starts with the Mother Church herself – Ekklesia Katolika. And so, if he has no guts to defrock Catholic clergy, where on earth does he get the authority to defrock an independent church?

It is quite telling that rumors of Satanism have been circulated against even more orthodox Christian organizations. I know a church situated near John Laing and Misisi compounds. This church has the reputation of being “satanic” simply by the many cars that park there each Sunday. Rumors of Satanism have unjustifiably been circulated against organizations such as the Mormon Church and other organizations in Zambia. In fact, on at least two occasions, the Zambian government banned the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) alleging that the church was practicing Satanism. In both of these instances, the Zambian courts took exception to government of overreach and made it clear that religious freedom is sacrosanct. You cannot proscribe a religion simply because of rumors.

This brings me to the consultation Kanganja did with the chairman of ICOMZ – David Masupa. There is this mistaken and irritating belief by some of our people that the mother church bodies are the de-facto regulators of religious expression in Zambia. This idea is neither biblical and neither is it legal. Citizens have the right and freedom to express their religious liberties without recourse to a “church mother body”.

The best adjudicators of any religion are the ordinary people. Government should only interfere if a church or a pastor is committing crimes or corrupting public morals. It should not be the duty of government to intercede on a matter of how some pastor decides to shave his pubic hair as a way of his own religious ritual. Reprehensive as it may seem, it is within the confines of human liberty. Government should stay out of the Church, including the most reprehensive of the churches.

Update: On 23 August 2015, we changed the title of this article from “In The Name of God: Should The Zambian Government Ban Randy Clergy?” to “In The Name of God: Should The Zambian Government Ban Immoral Clergy?”. We essentially removed the word “randy” and replaced it with “immoral”.

Carnage at Kasumbalesa: What PF Government Should Do To Stop the Bloodshed

E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div

 On Wednesday, 11 April 2007 President Levy Mwanawasa fired one of his most influential cabinet ministers. According to Levy, Vernon Johnson Mwaanga (VJ) had seriously misconducted himself when he was sent as a special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Whatever happened that Wednesday morning remains relevant today. But it is only useful if we can learn its lessons and be taught by its history. Unfortunately, the Zambian government is a pathetic student of history. It does seem that every President gets so blindsided by good “milile” at State House that they seldom learn from lessons eloquently taught by history.

The Zambian government should change its policy towards the Congo - Munshya

The Zambian government should change its policy towards the Congo – Munshya

There is now a crisis at Kasumbalesa. Bandits in the Congo have killed two SADC and Zambian drivers in a period of three weeks. Some reports suggest the Congolese security forces are responsible. This has obviously sent President Sata’s government into overdrive trying to respond. On his famed Facebook page, President Sata has posted that he is acting on this crisis. Unfortunately, the President or his handlers have blocked me from their page. It seems President Sata really wants to communicate using Facebook, but it must be one-way communication: from him to the world, and everyone else must shut up. In the Facebook post about Congo, he has a picture with his DRC counterpart Joseph Kabila. It does seem to be an innocuous picture; a Zambian president in the photograph with his Congolese colleague promising that he is going to address the shootings at Kasumbalesa.  However, it seems to me that the same mistake Mwanawasa made in 2007 about the Congolese crisis is the same one Michael Sata is potentially making here. But this should be avoided now. It is 2014 after all.

In 2007, Katanga Governor Moise Katumbi had decided to create a crisis and closed the Kasumbalesa border.  No trucks were allowed in or out of that country. This crisis lasted several weeks. To resolve this, Mwanawasa sent an envoy to Kinshasa. Flying on a government plane, envoy VJ Mwaanga was sent to meet with President Kabila. However, after meeting Kabila in Kinshasa, Mwaanga decided to pass through Lubumbashi and meet with Katanga Governor Moise Katumbi too. I am not privy to how Mwaanga decided that it would be beneficial to divert this government plane to Lubumbashi. But being a diplomat that he is, he had an insight into the Congolese situation that Mwanawasa had deliberately chosen to ignore. Mwaanga understood internal Congolese dynamics to recognize that a trip to Kinshasa would by itself not resolve any problem at Kasumbalesa. Mwaanga risked his job to go and talk with Katumbi to resolve the problem. Within days, the border had reopened and the problem had been fixed. But VJ’s decision to meet Katumbi did not seat well with Mwanawasa, hence the embarrassing sacking. For some reason, Mwanawasa did not like Katumbi and accused him of being part of Chiluba’s matrix of plunder.

With Katumbi being an accused thief, Mwanawasa felt that he was completely irrelevant to resolving this 2007 Kasumbalesa crisis. This was a huge mistake. In his mind, I think, Mwanawasa conflated the Zambian political system with the Congo and erroneously presumed that Kasumbalesa can be stabilized by a simple command from General Kabila. But things in the Congo do not work like they do in Zambia. The Congo is not one integrated country falling under the command of Kinshasa. In fact, Kabila depends upon the political patronage of a disparate cadre of semi-autonomous provincial governors. In actual devolution of power, a provincial governor such as Katumbi holds a lot of power to dictate security policy in their jurisdiction.

Obviously, Vernon Mwaanga knew this reality but his boss, at the time, Levy Mwanawasa either did not know this or deliberately chose to ignore it. This is itself surprising since Jack Kalala, a diplomat with impeccable insight into Congo, was one of Mwanawasa’s top confidantes. Additionally, Mwanawasa as a son of the pedicle should have known the Congolese situation much more intimately. But blindsided by power and by the so called “corruption fight”, Levy decided to put national interest at bay. This further escalated the 2007 Kasumbalesa crisis. However, a few months latter, Mwanawasa learnt it the hard way. He had to curve in and restore some normalcy with Katumbi. He learnt that it was in Zambia’s interest not to declare a Katanga governor as personae non-gratae. Here is the lesson: peace at Kasumbalesa is impossible, without direct involvement of the Katangese government.

It is in Zambia's security interest to engage Katanga authorities - Munshya

It is in Zambia’s security interest to engage Katanga authorities – Munshya

In order to resolve the 2014 Kasumbalesa crisis, the present PF government should not behave like Mwanawasa. They should engage the Katanga authorities in talks. It is futile to try and deal with Kabila alone. President Kabila does not weld unilateral power over much of his country’s borders. That being the case, it is in the interest of Zambia, that it plays with the Congolese power brokers that have real influence over Kasumbalesa. Mr. Sata taking pictures with Kabila means nothing to the strategic security interest of Zambia, if he does not make the same effort at negotiating with the relevant Katanga authorities. Governor Katumbi can be a very good strategic asset to Zambian interests. But this calls for a selfless president who is willing to forget the past disappointment in dealing with Katumbi. We are aware that Katumbi had supported Rupiah Banda and called opposition leader Sata as “a noisy empty tin”. Interestingly, Katumbi said these words when commissioning the Kasumbalesa Dry Port with the then President of Zambia, Rupiah Banda. But that was then. Sata is now President of our Republic and he should be ready to deal even with people like Katumbi who might have snubbed him in 2011.

Indeed if Sata is working with an editor who churned the most vicious insults against him, it should not be difficult to deal with Katumbi who only said “empty tin”. We need to learn from the past. If Mwanawasa refused to acknowledge Katumbi, Sata should act differently. It is in Zambia’s strategic interest to work with Moise Katumbi Chapwe.

The Zambian government should consider raising the diplomatic status of the Zambian mission in Lubumbashi. They can request the DRC authorities and position a Zambian diplomat at ambassadorial level there. Zambia shares one of the world’s longest undefended borders with the Congo DR and with that the Province of Katanga. The peoples of the pedicle intermingle between Zambia and Katanga. With the long border come security concerns. It is only logical that the Zambian diplomat at Lubumbashi should have the status to negotiate directly with the Congolese authorities. These authorities are not limited to the Kinshasa government but include the Lubumbashi administration.

The Zambian government should also consider having experienced diplomats in Lubumbashi. Naturally, a diplomat in Lubumbashi should be a child of the pedicle. They should come from some tribes of the pedicle that already have some relationship with their tribal counterparts across the border. These include: the Kaonde, Lamba, Lala, or Aushi. In the 1990s Chiluba ensured that such people were appointed to the Zambian mission at Lubumbashi. Both late Lemmy Chipili and Jack Kalala come to mind as those sons of the pedicle with impeccable insight into the Congolese dynamics. They served Zambia very well. With the likes of Chipili or Kalala at Lubumbashi, you will hear very little of all these diplomatic incidences at Kasumbalesa.

President Sata should also look at our top diplomat as well. I had hope when Wilbur Simuusa was appointed top diplomat. But his performance has been awful. Wilbur has no diplomatic influence. And it is showing. It certainly showed at the way Zambia was treated at Mandela’s funeral and it shows just how we have lost our diplomatic clout everywhere else including at Kasumbalesa. We can do better. And there is still hope at Kasumbalesa, but the PF government should negotiate with both Kinshasa and Lubumbashi and with both Kabila and Katumbi.

(c) E. Munshya, 2014.

“Munshya wa Munshya on Friday” is published in Zambia’s independent newspaper Daily Nation every week. This article appeared on Friday, 14 February 2014.

More Pollution in Our Pockets: Absurdity of an Open-Pit Mine in the Lower Zambezi

 E. Munshya, LLB (Hons), M.Div.

Many have undertaken to write on the appropriateness and inappropriateness of Hon Harry Kalaba’s decision to overrule Zambia’s environmental body. Kalaba has permitted a foreign company strangely known as “Zambezi Resources Limited” to develop an open pit mine in the middle of the Lower Zambezi National Park. Ignoring advice from environmental experts from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Hon Kalaba has used his statutory powers and invoked public policy objects in granting this license. I understand that this matter is now in court. There are reports that the aliens in charge of Zambezi Resources have refuted the reality of any injunction against them. As far as they are concerned they are ready to begin the plunder of the Zambezi River Basin. I will leave the legal arguments to the competent lawyers and the High Court. In this article, however, I will dwell only on the other arguments advanced by Kalaba and his government peers in justifying this environmental sacrilege.

Pollution in Mufulira, Zambia

Pollution in Mufulira, Zambia

Harry Kalaba is in many senses a very reasonable gentleman. He is a rising star in the PF government. As a native of Luapula, I have no doubt that Kalaba brings to public office the grace, gallantry and great wisdom domiciled in our people. It is young Luapulans like Kalaba who daily keep alive the hopes and dreams of our republic. Zambia will be better and greater with ministers like Kalaba. In humble patriotism, however, we must call upon even gifted people like Kalaba to reevaluate the way they are governing the country. We must put aside personal familiarities and common kinship in pursuit of higher ideals for our national healing. And for the stance he has taken on the issue of mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park, I must differ with him and the policies of his colleagues in the Don’t Kubeba government.

Lower Zambezi National Park

Lower Zambezi National Park

The Don’t Kubeba government is arguing that this foreign firm, “Zambezi Resources” does have the technology necessary to keep the game park in pristine condition while excavating an open pit mine. This is nonsense. Kalaba and his colleagues have failed to put in place any measures to protect the people of Mufulira who are currently being slaughtered daily by sulphur gases discharging from Butondo. How then will they have the technology to do better in Zambezi? Why can’t they start to show us their “modern technology” by cleaning up Mufulira and Chingola before these companies go on to turn the whole country into a huge pile of torrential chemicals? Indeed, it is simple logic. That which has failed to work for Chingola and Mufulira will most certainly fail to work for the Lower Zambezi. Zambezi Resources does not have the technology to mine in the Zambezi any safer than other mining companies are currently doing on the Copperbelt. And as the people of Nchanga know, a mine is a mine. An open pit mine is an open pit mine. There is no technology that can ever replace soils dug out of the ground to make room for this open pit mine. Digging in the Lower Zambezi does have consequences on the land, the animals and the people of the Lower Zambezi.

The Don’t Kubeba government is also arguing that they have permitted mining in the Lower Zambezi so as to create jobs for Zambians. Sometimes President Sata’s ministers speak in a way that defies modest sense. When they talk about jobs, they speak as if they do have job creation as an important element in their government. One cannot avoid but notice that this government’s policies have killed more jobs than any other government in the Third Republic. It is, therefore, strange that they would use job creation as the excuse for desecrating the Lower Zambezi National Park. Indeed, there are better ways to create jobs. The first way to create jobs in an economy like Zambia is to first protect the jobs that already exist in the economy. It is rather absurd that Sata’s government has fired close to 500 nurses countrywide and yet turns back and claims to be creating jobs in the Lower Zambezi. This government is not serious about job creation for Zambians. It is only serious about job creation for the party and its family. If they really want to provide jobs to Zambians they should immediately reinstate the nurses and not just smear us with more “bufi” about Zambezi.

The PF government moved with a lot of zeal to impose taxes and duty on vehicles used by churches and NGOs in their poverty alleviation programs. The imposition of this duty and tax means that NGOs will hire fewer workers. Fewer workers will further complicate Zambia’s job creation outlook. It is the poor that will suffer further because churches and NGOs will not be able to drive into the interior without suitable equipment. It is, therefore, surprising that the same government that acted at impulse to punish NGOs would today claim to sell the Zambezi on the pretext that it wants to create jobs. We can know the direction of a government by the way it treats small men and women. It has failed to collect enough tax from mines and yet it wants to kill the NGO sector, which is one of the biggest employment sectors in the country. The 3 years of PF rule is awash with examples of how it has failed to adequately tax mining companies. And yet it finds it easy to terrorize powerless NGOs. Approving more mines in the national park will not solve the tax problem created by the PF’s lack of economic competency. To mine tax, I must now turn.

Harry Kalaba's government specializes in guesswork - Munshya wa Munshya

Harry Kalaba’s government specializes in guesswork – Munshya wa Munshya

PF ministers are arguing that Zambezi Resources will bring in lots of revenue into government coffers. This is not only laughable but also pitiful. We must pity the don’t kubeba government. Inspite of having a seat on the boards of copper mines pillaging our copper, the PF government has no idea of how much these copper mines are actually generating. It is all guess work. That being the case, it makes no sense that they now want to add more companies to this list of their ineptitude. In any case, the winners in the Lower Zambezi will not be the Zambians; it will be the same foreign companies and their investors in Berlin, New York, Toronto and Brisbane. Moreover, the PF government will not collect a ngwee from this company because it has neither the capacity nor the backbone to collect tax from companies.  As mentioned above, the only tax it knows to collect is that taken from the churches and NGOs. A few years from now, the Lower Zambezi, will become just another town ravaged by foreign multinational companies leaving sulphur dioxide in their wake. This company will bring more misery to the country’s mining sector.

We appeal to the Hon Kalaba to reverse his decision. We appeal to the PF government to clean up the mess in Mufulira first and foremost. We also appeal to the government to leave the Lower Zambezi National Park free from further exploitation by foreign miners. The returns are not just worth losing our pristine land. It would be terrible to have another Mufulira pollution disaster happen among the Goba of the Lower Zambezi river basin.

(c) 2014, E. Munshya. This article appeared in Zambia’s leading independent newspaper the Daily Nation on Friday 6 February 2014. Munshya wa Munshya Column appears  every Friday.